My grandparents had visited a weekend ago, and to be frank, I’m not that close with them. They’re my dad’s parents, and they have that ultra-conservative Southern baptist tendency. There’s nothing wrong with that, and that’s not what bothers me - it’s when they choose to announce that it’s their way or the highway when it comes to belief systems.
As many of you know, my beau Jared is Seventh Day Adventist, a denomination that stems from Baptists - the only major differences are that they worship/go to church on Saturday (Sabbath), and they refuse to eat certain foods (some going as far as to be vegan or vegetarian altogether). It amazes me that despite these basic facts, those who haven’t done much research on SDA’s in general automatically assume that it’s a cult - seriously, I had many close friends and relatives asking me just that, and it made me want to facepalm. In general, however, the said facts qualify as “unBiblical” or even “wrong” to some.
Thankfully, I haven’t had a lecture from my grandparents (specifically from my grandpa) about this yet, though I don’t know about you, but the “I’m right you’re wrong and I’m going to tell you so” mentality that he keeps is very off-putting. He’s always been the type to shoot down other’s ideas and opinions unless they coincide/match his own; needless to say, he and I don’t have much in common.
So that Sunday (the day before they left), I had to work, so I missed out on dinner with them, my parents, and Jared (who’s staying with my parents). Mum told me that they went to pray over the food, and my grandfather was asked to say the blessing. He barked it out in his usual loud voice and proceeded to emphasize “…and thank You for this Lord’s Day, our true Sabbath.” Jared was right there, by the way, present and accounted for.
When I shared this lovely tidbit with Jared, he grinned and acknowledged it, having felt more amused that a prayer was directed towards him. I joked that it’s like he aced a right of passage and now can be properly attacked and condemned in a subtle, immature manner! All right!
And to this whole incident, I say these things: Jared is a better person than I for keeping his cool and not being bothered by it. That’s how he is, and I love him all the more for it.
The other thing is this: I am embarrassed. Isn’t our message and statement as Christians one of peace and love? Aren’t we supposed to uplift and encourage one another? Where does it say to condemn others because they worship on a different day? Where does it say “they worshiped on Sunday because that’s how it’s always been”? All of my research shows early Christians gathering on Sundays, but still observing the Sabbath as the day of rest.
In all of this, my solace and argument would be Philippians 3:12-16, and why more Christians (or at least those who claim to be) haven’t taken Paul’s words here to heart is baffling.
Loving one another means sometimes you don’t agree on things, be it lifestyles, choices, and opinions, and that’s ok. But you don’t go out of your way to lord your opinion over another person, or flat-out tell them they’re wrong; Jesus hung out with whores and tax collectors, but He didn’t sit there pointing at them and telling them they were sinful creatures. Telling someone you don’t agree versus telling someone they’re wrong are two VERY different things.
Keep this in mind before passing judgement of any kind (Matt. 7:1-6) - it’s a sobering reminder for me as well.